Kubo and the Two Strings is a creative and original stop-motion film, which follows a boy in Japan who lives with his mysterious mother in a cave on the outskirts of a village by the ocean, until one night when he is attacked by his two aunts and his mother disappears after sending him away to safety. After this, Kubo leaves his village behind and begins a quest to find his late father’s armor, “the only thing that can protect him”, according to a monkey that joins him on his journey.
The movie is stop-motion, meaning that it is “filmed” by taking millions and millions of pictures that are merged together to create a smooth, animation-like film. The movie seems to flow together seamlessly, making it even more animation-like. It was even nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, but sadly lost to Zootopia.
Kubo and the Two Strings is also incredibly beautiful in many different ways, from the scenery to the plot. A major part of the movie is origami, which Kubo is able to make and control by playing his magical shamisen, which is a traditional Japanese instrument. Throughout the movie, his power grows from using origami as props while storytelling in his village, to using it to create a boat out of leaves.
The plot of the movie is both hilarious in some parts and tragic in others. The jokes are small but funny and are good to balance out the tragic parts. Beetle, who is actually a man turned into a large beetle, has lost his memory from when he was a man, and provides most of the comic relief. However, the tragedy includes him as well.
(SPOILER COMING UP) In the part of the movie where his mother supposedly disappears, she actually turns herself into a monkey. In one of the final scenes, she is fatally injured by one of the aunts and begins to slowly die. Kubo and Beetle rush to her aid, and as the aunt that hurt her slowly approaches, she reveals that Beetle is actually Kubo’s father, but as soon as Kubo and his mother process this, the aunt stabs Beetle in the back and he dies instantly.
Overall, the movie is fantastic and well balanced. It is great for people of all ages and is especially great if you love adventure and fantasy.